‘Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey’ at children’s library reading event

A local council in the UK has been forced to apologise after a library booked a troupe including a monkey costume featuring a bare butt and a large fake penis for a children’s reading event.

The Redbridge Libraries Summer Reading Challenge hired an actor in a rainbow-coloured monkey costume with a fake penis and nipples to appear at a library event for children. Although the library and the council have now apologised, the Daily Mail reports that they initially posted, ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it,’ on social media during the event.

When parents began to complain, local Labour councillor Jas Athwal apologised and tweeted: ‘I was appalled by the incident in Redbridge Libraries on Saturday. ‘Completely inappropriate and deeply offensive performers were hired by independent contractor Vision who manage Redbridge libraries and leisure centres.”

Journalist Janice Turner said she “would really love a detailed breakdown of the commissioning process whereby Redbridge council commissioned the Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey as a means to teach children to read”

 

“I mean how many librarian/councillor eyes had to behold the Rainbow Dildo Butt Monkey before he was released into the wild to delight the children of Redbridge?” she asked.

 

Comments on social media described the use of the costume as “disgusting”, amounting to “child abuse” and opening the door to grooming, as well as exposing minors to “adult fetish material”

 

The incident has drawn attention to the attitude of some librarians to what might be appropriate for children to see in a library.

 

Mandinga Arts, who provided the costumes and actors, is said to have a special focus on diversity, and has been widely booked by taxpayer-funded bodies across the UK and received funding from arts bodies.

While photos said to be taken from the company’s website were posted across social media yesterday, showing other actors in the same costume with exposed fake penises alongside children, the company’s website and flickr has now been taken down.

The controversy has erupted at a time when questions are also being asked about the appropriateness of Drag Story Time – an initiative where mostly men in drag read to small children in libraries. Redbridge Libraries held a Drag Story Time event earlier this year.

 

Last year, a similar controversy arose after a drag act called Flow Job was invited to speak at Scottish primary school to mark LGBT History month. Renfrewshire Council said it was unaware that the performer had shared sexually explicit images on social media profiles.

 

 

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